L.Oyun-Erdene becomes 32nd prime minister

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During its plenary session on January 27, Parliament appointed L.Oyun-Erdene as the 32nd prime minister of Mongolia with an approval of 87.9 percent.

Highlighting that he will work to establish a multi-pillar economy without delay, newly appointed Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene said, “Mongolia earns about 7.6 million USD from exports, 89 percent of which is mining products. Science, innovation, food, agriculture, logistics and tourism should be identified as the country’s priorities. I will focus on establishing the National Wealth Fund and developing other sectors through it. We will maintain our domestic currency exchange rate and support national procurement. Researchers say that if these are not done in a timely manner, the situation could worsen in the near future.”

“Railway and road projects should be financed and prioritized in terms of economic benefits and importance. Mongolia should save about 600 million to 900 million USD in transportation costs, increase its exports by about 30 percent, and complete the construction of the Tavan Tolgoi-Gashuunsukhait and Tavan Tolgoi-Zuunbayan railways as soon as possible. In addition, the construction of an oil refinery and a road connecting the border crossings should be implemented as a priority in order to stop the 1 billion USD that flows out. Mongolia imports 25 percent of its energy from abroad and I will work hard to complete the Tavan Tolgoi Power Plant and Erdeneburen Hydropower projects.”

“According to preliminary estimates, a ministry of economy and ministry of e-development will be established. It will save a lot of paper. Centralization of all public services will be implemented in the next three years. This will reduce government bureaucracy and corruption. I will meet with Mongol Bank and the Standing Committee on Economy in the near future. There are three similarly separate policies: fiscal, monetary, and economic. In such a difficult time, these three policies must be combined. I will also meet with the public and private sectors. How the private sector retains its jobs is important.”

“The Ministry of Economic Development was established by the Democratic Party. The policy of the ministry focuses on increasing exports. This structure is needed by successive governments,” the prime minister added.

Lawmaker J.Sukhbaatar underlined that for the last 30 years, accountability and responsibility have been a major issue. “In accordance with the Constitution, the prime minister is the only official responsible for enforcing the law throughout the country and accountability to Parliament. The constitutional amendments have strengthened the powers of the prime minister. In the future, Parliament will hold the prime minister accountable and require the prime minister to abide by the law,” he said.

In response, L.Oyun-Erdene said, “The government is obliged to work within the framework of the Constitution of Mongolia. The legislature, executive power and judiciary must be balanced. This control and balance will be maintained.”

“L.Oyun-Erdene is not the party leader like the previous prime minister, and he lacks experience. It is right to appoint experienced people as minister with double deel (holding dual posts in Cabinet and Parliament). The Cabinet resigned, so
it is necessary to appoint new people as ministers. The government will be more stable if more experienced members are selected without re-appointing ministers who have resigned,” said DP lawmaker B.Purevdorj.

Lawmaker T.Dorjkhand highlighted that regardless of party affiliation, the new prime minister should form a cabinet of professionals.

Parliamentarian J.Bat-Erdene said, “I want a lot from the new minister. There is a need to pay special attention to several areas. When we amended the Constitution, we talked about establishing the ministry of economy development. The economy
must be human-centered. Production is very important.”

In accordance with the Law on Parliamentary Procedures, the Standing Committee on State Structure discussed the nominee for prime minister within three working days after the president submited his proposal to Parliament.

After his formal appointment, Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene met President Kh.Battulga and Speaker of Parliament G.Zandanshatar.

In accordance with the amendments to the Constitution of 2019, after an appointment, the prime minister will form Cabinet. The current law allows four lawmakers to be appointed to Cabinet aside from the prime minister.

The autumn session of Parliament is scheduled to adjourn this Friday. Therefore, Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene urgently needs to submit nominees to fill Cabinet. If ministerial appointment are not clarified by tomorrow, the autumn session will have
to be extended until next week.

L.Oyun-Erdene graduated from Bers College with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2001, from the National University of Mongolia with a bachelor’s degree in law in 2008, and from the Mongolian State University of Education with a master’s degree in political sciences in 2011. He studied public administration at Harvard University for a master’s degree, which he completed in 2015. He was elected to Parliament in 2016 and 2020.

Misheel Lkhasuren